Rekindling the Movement: Labor's Quest for Relevance in the Twenty-First Century / Edition 1

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Overview

From gloomy times in the 1980s, the American labor movement has returned to apparent prominence through the efforts of a new generation of energetic and progressive leaders. A distinguished group of authors examines this resurgence and the potential of American unions with sympathetic yet critical eyes. Experts from a wide variety of disciplines—industrial relations, political science, economics, and sociology—identify the central developments, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the new initiatives, and assess the progress made and the prospects for the future. Though all agree on the importance of unions, their opinions of the success of current renewal efforts diverge greatly.

The interdisciplinary and comparative approach of Rekindling the Movement is both challenging and enlightening. Rather than merely trumpeting pet opinions, contributors provide hard evidence and causal analysis, grounded in realistic perspectives, to back up suggestions for the improvement of the new labor movement. Their straightforward observations about what is and is not possible, what does and does not work, will be of great practical value for policymakers and union leaders.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a brilliant follow-up to the 1998 anthology, Organizing to Win. . . With essays by writers from diverse disciplines, this book is essential for both labor and business leaders who are challenged to understand and accommodate the needs of a rapidly changing and diverse workforce."—Library Journal, July 2001

"Anyone concerned about the state of the American labour movement is likely to find reason for both hope and despair in this volume. . . . The editors of Rekindling the Movement have captured both tendencies in a comprehensive selection of articles, and consequently they present a mixed but probably fair reading of US labour's current prospects. . . . Rekindling the Movement will undoubtedly be an important and useful tool for organizers and those who study them. It should help rekindle the imagination as well."—Greg McElligott, McMaster University. Labour/Le Travail

"The writers included in Rekindling the Movement expound on the newer strategies Lichtenstein favors. . . . There's much that Lichtenstein and the authors of Rekindling the Movement discuss that provides hope."—Kevin Mattson, Commonweal, 1 June 2002

Library Journal
Edited by Turner, Harry C. Katz, and Richard W. Hurd from the New York School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, this is a brilliant follow-up to the 1998 anthology, Organizing To Win: New Research on Union Strategies (Cornell Univ.). It addresses the problems, prospects, and alternatives facing U.S. labor unions as they make the transition from the industrial union model of the 20th century to accommodate a workforce that is more diverse, multicultural, and transnational. The most interesting sections of this book eloquently discuss the revival of the U.S. labor movement, its transformation to social movement unionism, lessons learned from attempts to organize immigrant and previously underserved workers, the obstacles facing union leaders, the effects of previous union mergers, and the political, social, cultural, and economic challenges that face unions as they attempt to survive in a rapidly evolving business and economic environment. With essays by writers from diverse disciplines, this book is essential for both labor and business leaders who are challenged to understand and accommodate the needs of a rapidly changing and diverse workforce. Highly recommended for both academic and public libraries. Norman B. Hutcherson, California State Univ., Bakersfield Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Lowell Turner is Professor of International and Comparative Labor at the ILR School and Director of the Worker Institute at Cornell University. He is coeditor most recently of Mobilizing against Inequality, Labor in the New Urban Battlegrounds, and Rekindling the Movement, all from Cornell.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Revival of the American Labor Movement: Issues, Problems, Prospects 1
Pt. I Reinventing the Labor Movement
1 Building Social Movement Unionism: The Transformation of the American Labor Movement 9
2 Organize for What? The Resurgence of Labor as a Citizenship Movement 27
3 Living with Flexibility 59
4 Lost Ways of Unionism: Historical Perspectives on Reinventing the Labor Movement 82
Pt. II Organizing Upsurge: Strategic and Structural Innovation
5 Organizing Immigrant Workers: Case Studies from Southern California 99
6 Structural Change in the AFL-CIO: A Regional Study of Union Cities' Impact 129
7 Confronting the Dilemmas of Organizing: Obstacles and Innovations at the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute 155
8 Overcoming Obstacles to Transformation: Challenges on the Way to a New Unionism 182
Pt. III New Strategic and Institutional Orientations
9 The Evolution of Strategic and Coordinated Bargaining Campaigns in the 1990s: The Steelworkers' Experience 211
10 Union Mergers and Union Revival: Are We Asking Too Much or Too Little? 238
11 Building the High Road in Metro Areas: Sectoral Training and Employment Projects 256
Pt. IV Politics and Policy
12 Organized Labor versus Globalization: NAFTA, Fast Track, and PNTR with China 275
13 Free Trade, Fair Trade, and the Battle for Labor Rights 314
Afterword: Whither the American Labor Movement? 339
References 351
Biographies 375
Index 381
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